English Alumna wins 2014 Pen Oakland Award

Claudia Moreno Pisano, now Parsons, Associate Professor of English as LaGuardia Community College and Graduate Center English program alumna, has just been awarded the 2014 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature for her edition of Amiri Baraka and Edward Dorn: The Collected Letters, published by the University of New Mexico in their Recencies Series.

Claudia’s project was one the first Lost & Found projects, from 2009, and we are very happy and proud of this recognition of her meticulous and groundbreaking scholarship.

The PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Awards were created twenty years ago to honor writers of exceptional works often not acknowledged by the mainstream literary community.  Judged by respected writers, the awards honor books published the previous year that both reflect a multi-cultural or marginalized viewpoint and represent the highest standards of literature.

PEN Oakland, chartered in early 1989, is a chapter of the Los Angeles based PEN USA, part of PEN International, an organization of professional writers founded in London in 1921.  In the words of the International charter, PEN members “pledge themselves to do their utmost to dispel race, class and national hatreds and to champion the ideal of one humanity living in peace in the world.  Literature, national though it be in origin, knows no frontiers.  PEN stands for the principle of unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations, and members pledge themselves to oppose any form of suppression of freedom of expression in the country and the community to which they belong.” PEN Oakland is the first chapter to target multi-cultural issues within the USA.  Its unique purpose is to promote works of excellence by writers of all cultural and racial backgrounds and to educate both the public and the media as to the nature of multi-cultural work.  You can find more information at our web site: www.penoakland.com